The Office of the Attorney General said yesterday that banning fireworks altogether would lead to unemployment in the sector and significant losses for suppliers.
It is proposing a draft bill that is balanced between safety and entertainment.
In a statement yesterday, the AGLA said the Law Reform Commission essentially considered two main approaches in their policy document which is set out below for the benefit of the public– Mode A which involved the imposition of strict prohibitions against the import, sale and use of fireworks and Mode B which aimed to balance the safety and entertainment values by regulating the industry through a system of authorisations and classification.
“The Commission has opted to pursue an approach along the lines of Mode B for two reasons. Firstly, the provisions of the Explosives Act currently reflect a similar approach, and secondly, imposing Model A would essentially put an end to the industry, causing suppliers to suffer significant losses, render those in the industry unemployed and citizens will no longer be able to purchase and use fireworks for their private entertainment,” the statement said.
It added that closing the industry presents the risk of encouraging and promoting the illegal smuggling of fireworks, where the quality and safety of the fireworks entering the country will not be subjected to testing, which consequently may create a greater risk to national security and public safety.
The Ministry said the Government is very pleased that stakeholders have already embraced the opportunity to speak publicly on the issue of regulating fireworks and has requested submissions by January 26th 2022.
“After this the AGLA will compile a matrix of submissions and recommendations and thereafter the AGLA will host virtual town hall discussions where diverse views will be ventilated. The AGLA takes this opportunity to inform that legislation to be drafted to treat with the issue of fireworks will only be confirmed after Cabinet has reviewed legislative drafts that the AGLA will produce after full consideration of submissions of all stakeholders as aforesaid,” the statement said.
It added that the Environmental Management Authority has recommended a ban on traditional noise-producing fireworks and instead allow the importation of noise-reducing fireworks with limitations on discharge.
“We encourage stakeholders and members of the public to comment on the legislative proposal of the Law Reform Commission which we remind is not reflective of any settled Government policy at this time and to focus on providing specific recommendations so that we may advance a final legislative product with alacrity,” the statement said.